Even if you have only a passing interest in following the news, you’ve likely seen some of the many stories that have run about the plight of America’s wild horses and burros. It is a hot topic!
While vast, our public lands are in great demand by many different users, often with desires that run counter to the needs of horses and burros. Recreation, ranching, mining resource extraction, and wildlife all compete for this finite resource. And, with our growing population, things are only going to get more desperate. America’s horses and burros are smack dab in the middle of a growing range war.
Overall, there is little agreement between the stakeholders as to how America’s wild horses and burros should be managed. There are some who want to eliminate the horses altogether, claiming they are not a native species. And those who want to reduce the number cows grazing on public lands and increase the number of horses. Often, there is debate about how many horses there really are on our public lands. Some say that the BLM has been systematically reducing the land that was originally set aside for horses and burros, while others push to transfer America’s public lands to control by individual states. The disagreements go on and on, and generally there seems to be little in the way of consensus.
If you were to attend some of the semi-annual Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meetings that the BLM sponsors, your head would likely start spinning as you tried to keep up with all of the different opinions that get expressed. Depending on your point of view, some would seem logical and some would not.
As a Foundation, we decided to narrow our focus to working on a couple of issues that most groups can agree are a problem.